Missionaries to the UK? Turning the Tables on Mission! (Press Release)

 

A new book containing stories of missionaries from the Global South in the United Kingdom explores the changing face of Christianity in the contemporary UK.

 

 

Turning the Tables on Mission documents the contemporary experience of missionaries coming to the UK from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The candid personal accounts contain a strong sense of calling and challenge common misunderstandings as to the missionaries’ reasons for coming. They face painful culture clashes which demand new ways of thinking, both in them and the British ‘indigene’ Christians they are seeking to work with.

 

 

Dr Joel Cabrita, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Cambridge, comments, ‘The influential role of Christians from the global south is proving to be one of the most significant and transformative elements in the British religious landscape. We are increasingly observing a transformation within British Christianity, rather than merely a foreign addition to it.’

 

 

The book, a first of its kind, includes contributions from  Dotha Blackwood (Spurgeon’s College), Dr Ram Gidoomal (one of the founders of South Asian Concern), Rev Joel Edwards (International Director of Micah Challenge and former Director of the Evangelical Alliance), Dr Jonathan Oloyede (convener of National Day of Prayer), Bishop Donnett Thomas (Chair of Churches Together in South London) Rodrigo Assis Da Silva (Senior Pastor Bethel International Baptist Church, Frankfurt, Germany, Peter Oyugi (African Inland Mission), Tayo Arikawe (Grace Evangelical Minsitries GEM), Jose Carlos Lara ( Brazillian missionary in Northern Ireland) and Harry Tennakoon (pastor of United  Sri Lankan Christian Fellowship, London).

 

 

The book engages with the question whether ‘reverse mission’ is mostly rhetoric and shows that in fact these missionaries are actually reaching the indigenous people of the UK as well recent immigrant communities. The book also aims to further the understanding of Christians across cultures, and, hopefully, help those newly arriving from the Global South in their cross-cultural mission.  It is therefore a unique compilation well worth reading, particularly for those involved in multicultural ministry.

 

 

‘This historic development in the British church scene possesses many admirable new initiatives. On the other hand, there is also much naivety, among both incomers who do not understand the British context, and indigenous leaders who unrealistically see this as the solution to dwindling congregations. Israel Olofinjana’s careful evaluative comments enables us to avoid falling prey to over-optimistic illusions, but without giving up hope for God’s future move in revival in the United Kingdom,’ according to Rev Dr Steve Latham, Spurgeon’s College

 

 

Israel Olofinjana, editor of the book, came to the UK in 2004 as a missionary. He joined a British Historic Church in order to understand the culture he had come to but other missionaries started their own churches, often linked with established British congregations, demonstrating the creative, fluid nature of their missional endeavours. ‘The emergence and growth of these churches has led to new academic disciplines in British Universities, such as immigration studies, empire studies, diaspora studies, African studies, Caribbean studies, post-colonial discourses and world or global Christianity,’ says Rev Olofinjana.

 

 

‘This book is a resource for the British Church that can facilitate an understanding of Christians from other cultures. It will also be of interest to scholars of the discourse of religion in diaspora.’

 

 

Turning the Tables on Mission. Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK is published by Instant Apostle and is available from CLC and Gardners, and online in paperback and electronic versions on amazon.co.uk.

 

 

For review copies contact: manoj@instantapostle.com

 

 

ENDS

 

For media queries contact Rev Israel Olofinjana: 07864115440 / israelolofinjana@yahoo.co.uk

 

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About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is currently co-opted as a member of the Baptist Union Council. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as an administrator and research co-ordinator for the Evangelical Alliance. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies!
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